Detecting odometer manipulation in pre-owned luxury cars is often not that easy. With the necessary knowledge and the appropriate means, however, you have a chance to find out about the crooks. You can find out how to do this in this article.
Mileage capacity derived through vehicle age
Buying a used car always requires great attention from a buyer, especially due to the tendency of many sellers to scale the mileage, an illegal operation used to be able to place the vehicle at a higher price.
Checking the mileage before choosing among the second-hand luxury cars is one of the most important tasks when examining the vehicle. Mileage primarily affects the value of the car, and therefore its price. In a situation where the car has traveled a small number of kilometers, its price is much higher than the market average.
It is indicated that a car with low mileage can be up to 25% more expensive than the average price of the same model. The relationship also works the other way around – excessively high mileage can reduce the average value of a car by about 25%.
The number of kilometers also significantly affects the technical condition of the car. Cars like second-hand Mercedes with high mileage, even regularly serviced and repaired, will not avoid natural wear of the finishing materials in the passenger compartment and the gearbox mechanisms and the power transmission system.
Mileage meter tempered derived financial & physical issues, and it’s illegal
Fraud dealers play with the mileage meter to reverse to show customers and get a higher value of the vehicle than the car’s worth. While the seller is happy about the higher achievable price, the manipulation otherwise brings with it considerable problems:
- The buyer is, of course, cheated out of the amount overpaid compared to the actual residual value of the car with real mileage. Experts estimate the annual damage caused by excessively high prices. Every year, according to the police, two million 2ndhand luxury car buyers fall victim to speedometer trickery.
- At certain mileage, maintenance and the replacement of wearing parts are planned ( for example, the toothed belt of the BMW 3 series second hand). If these appointments are missed because the fraud leads to the illusion of lower mileage, it can be really expensive in the event of damage.
- In a branded workshop, the buyer can have problems if warranty work is to be taken over for used vehicles that are still young – the workshop could then refuse the guarantee or goodwill regarding a manipulated odometer reading. After all, there has already been a customer-friendly judgment by the BGH that protects the buyer.
Tips to avoid mileage clocking/tempering
Check it’s worn-out & less mileage:
- It’s no surprise that you take it very seriously and want to put your money in the best possible way. This means that sales offers are carefully analyzed, and when viewing second-hand premium cars, their condition is examined very carefully.
- Nevertheless, you can still come across stories of people who, tempted by an attractive price, bought a car whose mileage was underestimated. This means that the purchased vehicle has hidden flaws. To avoid such a purchase, it is necessary to check the car and do all the possible investigations carefully.
- If someone manipulates the clock before each exam or when the car is imported before the home exam, it will record false mileage data in the system. It works very well; only the authenticity of the data should not be overestimated.
- Read on to drive used car tests! Many of the most important cars like Audi second-hand cars were featured in demos, or you could meet them in the Appraiser on video review. A useful resource for the Facebook group of owners of car types you look for, browse owner reviews and brand forums!
- A lot of time? Yes, but every hour you spend on it pays off because you will have more ideas about what mistakes to expect, what repair costs to expect, what you should look at, try on a used car that looks good.
Check its pedal rubber, gear knob, steering wheel:
- A warning signal should be heavy wear of the car, e.g., all kinds of abrasions on the steering wheel of your selected Audi A4 model, gear knob, signs of worn-out buttons on the central console, large damage to the driver’s seat upholstery, visible replacement of the steering wheel or central panel with new ones, presence of random parts that do not match with the specification of a specific model, etc.
- Here, however, it should be remembered that not the best condition of the vehicle’s internal components does not mean that you will get cheated in terms of the number of kilometers traveled by car.
Compare the wear & tear of the car with the mileage:
- A method that is not foolproof but can still give some clues as to the veracity of the odometer of the car you are buying is the state of the car.
- Check the bodywork well, which does not show particular signs of wear, and especially the interior. Easy that the body has been repainted, so it won’t give you 100% exhaustive information.
- The interiors, on the other hand, are often overlooked by sellers. What do you need to check? Essentially all those parts can wear out with normal wear. For example, does the gear knob have well-defined markings, or are the numbers a little erased? The same goes for the non-slip knurling of the steering and pedals, especially the accelerator and clutch controls.
- If the car is sold with seat covers, do not be afraid to remove them and check the upholstery state; if it is worn, it is certainly not a car with a few kilometers.
- Check the engine; that doesn’t lie. In the meantime, test the car, if the engine is cheerful and sprightly, it may be that the km is those declared, if on the contrary, it is worn and not very bright, let us have some doubts.
Check non-digital meters are lined up properly:
- Checking the outcome of the latest overhaul before going to buy a second-hand luxury car is of fundamental importance to be sure of being able to travel on the road with a suitable vehicle and know with absolute certainty the actual kilometers traveled by a car being tested before buying. Usually, don’t tamper with a car’s odometer for a small difference in the distance because it won’t affect the price. On the contrary, it acts in this fraudulent way by removing several tens of thousands of km (at least 50 thousand).
- At this point, a good technician, an expert in the sector, can understand if the distance marked by the odometer is compatible with the remaining conditions of the displayed second-hand Mercedes car or any other luxury car for sale.
- Those of the trade know how to evaluate the wear and tear of a vehicle based on its seniority; in a worn-out vehicle (not only from the aesthetic point of view but also from the various mechanical and electrical components), a low km count may appear suspicious. In short, do not buy instinctively but first, have a thorough appraisal done by one of your trustees.
Talk to the previous owner of the vehicle and ask for the mileage they sold it at:
If possible, get in touch with the car’s previous owner and know more about the car in detail. Ask for all the service history and the last mileage they sold it for.
- For example, anyone who buys a used car, for example, a 2ndhand BMW from a dealer,, should contact the previous owner to identify any odometer manipulation. Buyers can find the name in the registration certificate Part II (vehicle registration document). They should then ask them for documents such as AU and HU reports and also clarify the mileage with which the car was sold.
- Other previous owners can also be found in the service booklet. Besides, buyers are well-advised not to rely on seller information such as “mileage according to the speedometer” or “mileage read” but rather insist on the written indication of the sales contract’s actual mileage.
- In the event of suspicion, the speedometer and control units’ production date should be determined in the workshop, as they may have been damaged during odometer manipulation and then replaced. Then the year of manufacture does not match that of the vehicle. The only exception: the previous owner can prove the exchange due to a defect.
Take mileage clocking check to get the mileage information:
- The most common way to check the mileage of a used car, for e.g., a second-hand Mercedes car, is through the VIN report. Checking the mileage by VIN can be done even before viewing the vehicle. It is enough to ask the owner for this number, registration number, and date of first registration in a telephone or e-mail conversation.
- These data are entered on the government website: In response, you will receive a free report from the Central Vehicle Register. It is presented in the form of tables that contain complete information about the vehicle.
- With this access, you can easily and quickly check your selected Mercedes C class second-hand model’s mileage. The data provided in the report comes from the last and previous technical tests. What’s more, checking the mileage after VIN allows you to obtain data, even if the vehicle was imported from abroad.
- The panel will show the number of kilometers and whether the car has a paid civil liability insurance policy and has a current inspection.